I was again reminded how crucial a granularly knowledgeable printer is to the success of any printed piece, and how the intricacies of the process can inform the design and vice versa.
– William Strew, Designer
For more than 1,000 years, volvelles, or wheel charts, have been a fun and interactive way to present practical information. So when Texas Children’s Health Plan was preparing to open their second Center for Children and Women, in-house designer William Strew knew the perfect high-impact piece to use to grab people’s attention.
No stranger to volvelles, Strew’s vivid childhood memories include playing with an old Vernon Farm Calculator he discovered in his great aunt’s house.
As the Texas Children’s Health Plan branding system already used circular design elements, Strew realized the volvelle would be an excellent way to present their VIP invitations.
“Even the simplest printed piece offers something to the senses that a digital invitation can’t,” Strew explains. “And by having multiple layers—literally—to read and manipulate…the piece becomes even more memorable and appealing.”
Strew leaned heavily on the expertise of John Earles at Workhorse Printmakers to ensure the 7” letterpress printed piece aligned perfectly when die cut and assembled.
“Large floods of color with letterpress printing can be tricky to execute,” says Workhorse Printmakers Co-founder John Earles. “Staying on color through the run required constant attention. The large, intricate die cut also required careful make-ready to get clean cuts and strip correctly. You could say I learned that I have a lot to learn about the creative possibilities of print in general, and letterpress in particular.”
But the true beauty of this piece lies in how it all works together. The salty textures created from the heavy vellum paired with the perfectly matched brand colors and meticulous execution by the Workhorse Printmakers team make for a tactilely pleasing, interactive piece. Who knows, it might be unearthed years from now in some musty attic to inspire a whole new generation of designers.